Anil and his fiance Priyanka are getting married in a month. They have been friends since college days and have known each other for the last 10 years. A dream wedding is something that Priyanka has fantasized about since she was very young. While the basic expenses of the wedding such as the venue, food etc. would be taken care of by Anil’s parents, Anil wanted to go that extra mile to make sure Priyanka gets to fulfil all her extravagant wishes.
For this, he had started saving some portion of his income since the last few years and accumulated a sizeable corpus, he thought so. Priyanka always wanted a celebrity artist to perform at their ‘Sangeet’ function. Anil thought that he had saved enough to fulfil this wish along with other things like a Dream Honeymoon and a Diamond Ring. However, when it was time to get these things done, he realized that his savings were far from being sufficient.
He had estimated the costs a couple of years ago, and saved accordingly. However, the biggest mistake he made was that he did not factor inflation into his planning. Had he known earlier, he could have taken help from a financial planner, who could advise him, in terms of how and where to invest to achieve this goal comfortably.
Today, a dream wedding is beyond traditional things like jewellery and gifts that our earlier generations used to plan for in the past.
There are many more aspects that one needs to consider while planning a wedding; from the latest designer outfit, to having a live performance by a celebrity artist at the ‘Sangeet’ function and not to mention, the lavish destination weddings that have gained a lot of popularity in India in the last few years.
But before all this, there are a couple of questions to ask yourself; How much money do you really need to execute this dream wedding? Do you have enough? Are your investments sufficient to fund all what you have in mind? I am sure this is a question that crosses most our minds, but we do not really know the answer to this. The earlier in life one thinks about this, the better.
We recommend planning for the same in a systematic manner. The most important part being clearly defining the goal. What is the overall corpus that you would like to spend on the wedding? With the soaring inflation in the luxury segment, it is very important to factor in inflation in our planning.
Once you know the total corpus that is required, with the help of a financial planner, you can determine that what are the savings that you need to invest, to accumulate this required corpus by the wedding. This will ensure that over a time you have accumulated the required amount in time.
It is also prudent to be conservative in one’s assumptions while planning, with respect to inflation and return expectations. We believe that one would rather plan to save more and accumulate a higher amount than required, so that there are no surprises or panic attacks once the actual invoice arrives.
Even after you have accumulated the required corpus, there is still some planning that you can do. Allocating your available funds wisely is also equally important. As we mentioned above, there is no end on how much one can splurge on a flamboyant wedding. But the key is to think smart and prioritise on what you and your family; most importantly you and your fiancée, want to spend on.
Other things aside, remember that the most important ingredient of a super wedding is Happiness. While money cannot buy Happiness, we can surely plan well in advance, and spend our money wisely in a way that would bring us more happiness, what we call ‘Happy Spending’. Yes, you heard it right; Money well spent will make you Happy in the Long Run.
So go ahead and ensure that your wedding is a treasured ‘Happy Rich’ moment for you and your entire family.
(By Amar Pandit, CFA, and the Founder & Chief Happyness Officer at HappynessFactory.in)